March 20, 2017

Grijalva: Republican Health Care Plan Hurts Arizona

State Medicaid program estimates 380,000 residents will lose coverage.

Raul Grijalva AZWeek U.S. Congressman Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., speaks to Arizona Week following Election Day 2016. (PHOTO: AZPM Staff)

The Republican health care plan will hurt Southern Arizona hospitals, along with those who lose health care in the state, Democratic U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva says.

The state Medicaid system analysis released last week by The Associated Press estimated the plan now working its way through the U.S. House of Representatives will knock 380,000 Arizonans off of health insurance rolls.

“The major hospital systems would then have to deal with people coming into their emergency rooms, and by law they have to take care of them," Grijalva said in an interview over the weekend in Tucson. "The whole issue that almost brought many hospital systems to their knees was uncompensated care, and we are going to see that rise again.”

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Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan has said a House vote may come as early as Thursday on the bill detailing health care system changes.

Grijalva also said that some Republicans are seeing the reality of what President Donald Trump's election means.

Arizona Democratic Congressman Raul Grijalva says the President’s budget is creating unlikely alliances with Republicans especially in rural America.

"And so now what we see in even the people that initially supported Donald Trump are beginning to feel the heat," he said. "Republicans usually represent these (rural) districts, and now they’re feeling the pushback from their communities saying, "What you’re now going to serve meals to old people at home?' And the list goes on and on.”

That was a reference to Trump's budget proposal that called for, among other domestic spending cuts, elimination of federal funding for Meals on Wheels, which provides meals to the elderly in their homes.

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